Vietnam News

Việt Nam, Laos vow to raise bilateral trade turnover by 10-15 per cent

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In 2023, the total bilateral trade turnover reached about $1.6 billion, a slight decrease of 2.1 percent year on year, but the import value from Laos surged by 4.2 per cent.

Việt Nam and Laos have vowed to expand bilateral trade turnover in 2024 by 10-15 per cent compared to 2023, said Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and his Lao counterpart Sonexay Siphandone after the 46th meeting of the two countries’ Inter-Governmental Committee on Sunday.

The two prime ministers said the political relations had been strengthened while the Intergovernmental Committee, chaired by the two ministers of planning and investment, continued to prove effective and promote the implementation of cooperation agreements in all fields.

In 2023, the two sides accomplished 13 groups of tasks set out at the 45th meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee on Việt Nam-Laos bilateral cooperation, according to reports.

The two countries have stepped up cooperation in security, defence and building the Việt Nam-Laos borderline into the border of peace, stability, friendship, cooperation and comprehensive development.

Ministries and agencies of both sides proactively exchanged and shared experiences on macroeconomic management and building an independent and self-reliant economy in the context of international integration. There are currently 245 Vietnamese projects with valid investment certificates in Laos, with a total registered investment capital of about US$5.5 billion.

In 2023, Việt Nam’s investment capital in Laos reached $116.6 million, an increase of 65.3 per cent compared to 2022.

Laos now has 18 investment projects being stably implemented in Việt Nam with a total registered capital of over $110 million. The Vietnamese authorities have created favourable conditions for Lao firms in investment and business.

In 2023, the total bilateral trade turnover reached about $1.6 billion, a slight decrease of 2.1 per cent year on year, but the import value from Laos surged by 4.2 per cent.

Electricity purchase and sale cooperation continues to be promoted. Việt Nam’s electricity imports from Laos achieved the set target for the 2021-25 period.

Vietnam Electricity has signed 19 power purchase contracts with investors to buy electricity from 26 hydroelectric plants invested in Laos with a total capacity of 2,689 MW.

The two leaders pledged to continue to concretise and effectively implement the agreement between the Politburos of Việt Nam and Laos; outcomes of the meeting between General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam Nguyễn Phú Trọng, General Secretary of the LPRP and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith and President of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) Hun Sen and agreements signed at the 46th Intergovernmental meeting.

The two sides vowed to intensify political and diplomatic relations; maintain and improve the effectiveness of cooperation mechanisms; and effectively organise visits, meetings and contacts between senior leaders in various flexible forms.

They also agreed to strengthen information exchange, share macroeconomic management experience, and build an independent and self-reliant economy in the context of deep, substantive and effective integration.

They agreed to hold dialogues between Vietnamese businesses and Lao authorities to resolve difficulties and obstacles in cooperation and investment projects.

The Lao government will create preferential and favourable conditions for large and key projects of Vietnamese enterprises, and study and adjust regulations on implementation time in hydropower and mining investments to suit the new situation.

They also vowed to address difficulties in transport infrastructure, mobilise resources, and search for investors interested in Vũng Áng-Vientiane railway projects and Hà Nội-Vientiane Expressway.

The two countries agreed to consider agriculture and rural development as one of the pillars of bilateral economic cooperation.

The Vietnamese government will continue to offer 1,120 scholarships for Lao officials and students to study in Việt Nam, and send teachers to teach the Vietnamese language in Laos.

The two sides agreed to promote tourism connections between the two countries and the ‘One journey, three destinations’ connection with Cambodia.

The two governments, ministries and authorities continue to coordinate closely and support each other at multilateral and regional forums. Việt Nam will actively and effectively support Laos to successfully assume the Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2024, AIPA 45 and other high-level conferences.

Concluding the meeting, the two prime ministers emphasised that they would order ministries and businesses to closely coordinate and effectively implement agreements and commitments, and continue to create maximum favourable conditions for businesses of the two countries to foster cooperation in investment, production and business.

Both sides believed that the success of the meeting would create new momentum to elevate the bilateral relationship to become more in-depth, substantive, trustworthy, and effective, contributing to continuously strengthening the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Việt Nam and Laos in the future. 

Vietnam News – January 7, 2024

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